The Maccoa Duck is a small African stiff-tailed duck and very rare.
Male – The male Maccoa Duck has a chestnut colored body, black head, bright blue beak, stiff black tail, upper-wings are dark brown and under-wings greyish-white, belly and under tail are whitish, eyes are dark brown, and legs and webbed feet are grey.
Female – The female has a grey-brown body, dark brown crown, nape, and cheek-stripe, and a dark grey beak.
Eclipse – The male in eclipse plumage is very similar to the female but has a darker head and face markings.
Size: – Typical Adult is 19-20 inches.
Food: – They dive for small invertebrates, plants and seeds.
Habitat: – Wetlands, shallow waters, and swamps. They are found in two main areas of Africa – in the east in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, and also in the south in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Breeding Season: – From August to January in South Africa.
Eggs: – 4 to 9 (white color).
Notes: – The Maccoa Duck is a small shy African stiff-tail duck which feeds by diving underwater for extended periods. When alarmed they tend to dive underwater rather than take flight as they struggle to take-off and only fly short distances.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.